Patch Testing for Metal Allergy with Manufacturer-Supplied Materials before Nuss Bar Insertion

Kerry Heitmiller, Andrea French, Samuel M. Alaish, Ronald Goldner, Anthony A. Gaspari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction The increasing use of metal implantable devices has raised awareness of nickel allergy. Preoperative patch testing for patients with pectus excavatum (PE) with a known metal allergy or history of atopy is an accepted practice before the Nuss procedure. The Nuss bar manufacturer offers a metal disc for preoperative testing for metal sensitivities. However, the efficacy of this disc is not well understood. Objective The purpose of this study was to determine the sensitivity of the metal disc in detecting nickel allergy compared with that of standard patch testing. Methods Two PE patients were referred for preoperative patch testing with the metal disc to screen for metal allergy before the Nuss procedure. Based on our initial findings, 7 patients without PE scheduled for patch testing for the evaluation of chronic dermatitis were additionally tested with the metal disc if they were found to have risk factors for nickel allergy. All patch testing was performed according to set standards. Conclusions The metal disc may not be adequately sensitive to determine nickel allergy before the Nuss procedure. Patch testing alone with standard formulations of nickel sulfate in petrolatum may be more sensitive in diagnosing nickel allergy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-275
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Dermatology


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